GqqA, a Novel Protein in Komagataeibacter Europaeus Involved in Bacterial Quorum Quenching and Cellulose Formation
Valera, María José
Mas Barón, Albert
Streit, Wolfgang R.
Mateo Alesanco, Estibaliz
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Microbial Cell Factories 15 : (2016) // Article ID 88
Background: We report on the functional screening and identification of an active quorum quenching (QQ) gene in the Komagataeibacter europaeus strain CECT 8546, which is a member of the acetic acid bacteria (AAB). Results: Using a previously published screening protocol (Schipper et al., in Appl Environ Microbiol 75: 224-233, 2009. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01389-08) for QQ genes, we identified a single gene, designated gqqA, that interfered strongly with bacterial quorum sensing (QS) in various reporter strains. It encodes for a 281-amino acid protein with a molecular mass of 30 kDa. Although the GqqA protein is similar to predicted prephenate dehydratases, it does not complement Escherichia coli mutants of the pheA gene, thus indicating a potentially different function. Recombinant GqqA protein attenuated QS-dependent pyocyanin production and swarming motility in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1. Moreover, GqqA quenched the QS response of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens NTL4 and the Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 reporter strains. Interestingly, the addition of recombinant GqqA protein to growing cultures of the Komagataeibacter europaeus strain CECT 8546 altered the cellulose production phenotype of CECT 8546 and other AAB strains. In the presence of GqqA protein, cells were planktonic, and no visible cellulose biofilms formed. The addition of low levels of N-acylhomoserine lactones maintained the biofilm formation phenotype. Conclusions: Our data provide evidence for an interconnection between QS and AAB cellulose biofilm formation as well as QQ activity of the GqqA protein.